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The firm acted for Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust in its negotiation and purchase from the Church Commissioners of Hartlebury Castle and its 43 acres of parkland for £2.272 million. As well as being the historic residence over 100s of years of the Bishops of Worcester, the Castle also houses the County Museum and the Hurd Library, a collection of historic books of major importance.
Working with Museums Worcestershire, the Trust will make the Castle, the Library, the museum collections and the gardens into an integrated visitor destination that will benefit the local area and serve as a major attraction for visitors from around the UK and beyond, with programmes for conservation and activities.
The Hurd Library was purpose built for Richard Hurd, Bishop of Worcester, in 1782 and houses a New Testament which was given to Alexander Pope by Jonathan Swift and a 1611 edition of Spenser’s works, which was owned by John Dryden and then Alexander Pope.
To assist with the purchase and redevelopment of the Castle, the Trust was able to secure a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund of around £5 million, a record for the Midlands.
The legal aspects of the purchase were wide ranging, including negotiating and advising on:
- Mineral Rights
- Use of Airspace
- Restrictive Covenants
- Fishing Rights
- Farm Business Tenancy and Residential Tenancies
- Management Agreement with the County Council
- Books and Contents Loan Agreements
- Variations to the leases to the County Council
- Use of the Chapel
- Requirements and conditions of the Heritage Lottery Fund
We worked closely with the Trust’s project managers throughout and also received excellent support from colleagues at Museums Worcestershire and the County Council, which meant we were able to bring the transfer to a successful conclusion. We hope this will safeguard the Castle for generations to come.
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